Breakfasters

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The Breakfasters is a long running morning program on 3RRR, a radio station based in Melbourne, Australia. It is currently presented by Sarah Smith, Jeff Sparrow and Geraldine Hickey.

The program has seen a number of line-up changes since it began in the 1984. The first team consisted of Stratos Pavlis and Chris Hatzis. They weren't given very much direction from RRR but Chris and Stratos quickly established a strong following amongst a broader RRR audience who were perhaps not as cool as the inner city Carlton folk who were the original audience. Unlike many other RRR jocks, Chris and Stratos didn't mumble and didn't drone, and often involved the audience on the air. They invited many people on as guests in order to keep the show fresh and to have other personalities to bounce off. They were relatively articulate, witty and not afraid of expressing joy in the music and talk they presented.

This approach was a shock to the RRR old guard who were prone to long silences between sentences and speaking in a monotone, mostly off-mic to their friends in the studio. Initially the old guard thought they were selling out but as Stratos often said "We're not selling anything, we want to get Melbourne to buy in". Denise Hylands and D-Gen writer/comedian Santo Cilauro, joined them in their second year and the Breakfasters never looked back. Sponsorship increased for RRR as did their share of the mainstream audience across the board. RRR soon backed this up with a regular drive time show hosted by Stephen "the Ghost" Walker. This strategy ensured that RRR had a loyal and regular following.

The popularity of the Breakfasters was a shock to commercial radio who were still presenting deep voiced smooth talking, "proper" DJs in the 6 - 9am slot. Mainstream radio in the 80s did not have any room for 2 'wogs' and so Chris and Stratos has no chance of establishing a media career like the later Breakfasters. However producer Val Eimutis found that commercial stations were paying attention. By 1987 commercial radio started offering 'breakfast teams' and 'morning crews' to their audiences - often telling the same jokes and playing the same music that was on Breakfasters 3 months prior.

Chris and Stratos are credited with setting the template for the modern public radio presenter. Their influence however is underplayed in Radio City - The First 30 Years of 3RRR.

Later presenters have included Richard Neil, Kate Langbroek, Leaping Larry L, James (The Hound Dog) Young, John Safran, Mark (Crackman) O'Toole, Kate Paton, Dave O'Neil, Cousin Creep, Julian Schiller, Tony Moclair, Chris Venville, Holly C (Marieke Hardy), Angus Sampson, Michaela Boland, Stephen Downes, Tony Wilson, Sam Pang, Michael Williams, Tim Shiel, Stuart Round, Ben Birchall, Jess McGuire, Jacinta Parsons, Stew Farrell, Lorin Clarke, Josh Earl, Steve Wide and Alicia Sometimes. Presenter Fee B-Squared was the constant through many lineup iterations until leaving the show herself at the end of 2013.

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